Over one billion people across the world are ringing in the Year of the Monkey. New Year is the most important national holiday in China and many other countries in Asia. Festivities last an entire week.
In the Chinese lunar calendar, February 8 marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey.
The lion dance is a traditional feature of the first day of the new year in many Chinese towns and cities. The custom, intended to bring good luck, is also celebrated everywhere from Seattle and New York to Dusseldorf.
New year’s celebrations in China also include funfairs, while red lanterns are displayed outside buildings as a symbol of good fortune.
New year is a family festival. Hundreds of millions of people in China make the journey home for the holidays. The country practically comes to a standstill for one week.
The Year of the Monkey is a popular one among future parents, due to the common belief that children born in that year will be clever, confident, and creative. And as in 2016 the calendar cycle also includes the elements fire and metal, it is specifically the year of the red fire monkey.